Here are the key things you need to know before you leave work today.
MORTGAGE RATE CHANGES
Nothing to report today.
DEPOSIT RATE CHANGES
Kiwibank has cut some term deposit rates for terms 18 months through to five years.
Retail sales as measured by the use of electronic cards (eftpos, credit cards, fuel cards, etc) rose +5.2% over the year to November. It was broad based with all categories rising on that year-on-year basis, except fuel which was down -0.5%. The largest riser was for services, up +10.9%. Hospitality was up +8.2%, and vehicles up +7.3%. 'Consumables' (like food and groceries) were up +6.0%. Other than for fuel, other laggers were durables and apparel. (Stats NZ noted a +5% jump in fuel prices month-on-month.)
The latest monthly rent data from MBIE's Tenancy Bond Service (for November) shows national rent levels unchanged. The national median 3 br house rent is now $430/week, up +4.9% from the same month a year ago, but most of that rise happened to February; sine then it has been flat. But there are notable median rent rises in Auckland's Waitakere up to $495/week, and in Rotorua up to $340/week. The data suggests it is 2 br flats rather than 3 br houses where the current pressure exists.
WATCHING FOR INFLATION
ANZ runs a monthly inflation watch and that isn't showing an imminent upturn in December. It is a pretty good signaler for the official Stats NZ quarterly report. Prices in ANZ's latest survey mirrored those for November and are up +2.9% over the past year (2.864% to be precise). But the underlying ex-housing component rose only +1.1% year-on-year. That’s still low, but it is the first time it has broken out of the 0-1.0% range since late 2014. Even so, there are still no real signs of a generalised lift in inflation they say.
IT'S NOT ONLY US
The number of properties being offered at auction and the clearance rates at the auctions that do occur is falling quickly in Sydney. They still think sub 60% sales rates are poor ...
WHOLESALE RATES UP, STEEPER
Swap rates rose +1 bp today for 2 year terms, +3 bps for five years, and +4 bps for 10 years. The 90 day bank bill rate has held at its record low 1.89%.
NZ DOLLAR UP
The NZ dollar is marginally higher at 68.6 USc. On the cross rates we are also a little higher at 91.2 AUc and 58.2 euro cents. That puts the TWI-5 at 71.7. Bitcoin got down to US$13,161 over the weekend but is now back up to $16,222 and rising quickly. Still, that is still below the Friday high of US$17,130.
You can now see an animation of this chart. Click on it, or click here.